How a DUI Can Affect Your Life
Being arrested for DUI certainly affects your life. But what happens if you’re convicted of DUI? How does a DUI affect the rest of your life? Let’s look at the ramifications from your driving privileges to your education.
Your Driving Privileges
The United States respects your right to travel. However, this doesn’t make driving a right. A first-time DUI with a BAC of under 0.08 will result in losing your driver’s license for at least thirty days. If your BAC is over 0.15, it could be suspended for up to a year. Repeat offenders lose their driver’s license for a longer length of time. Furthermore, DUIs racked up before you hit 21 can result in stiffer penalties for repeat offenses after you’re 21. And third-time offenders will face months to years in prison, even if they’re under 21. You’ll also lose the driver’s license for at least a year.
In many cases, the police report a DUI to the university. This may result in you losing your campus housing, especially if you were illegally consuming alcohol on campus or have repeat offenses. A first offense probably won’t result in expulsion from the school, but you might if you had prior drinking and drug use that the school forgave after punishing you via their internal processes. If you are attending on scholarship, you may lose the scholarship due to the moral failure demonstrated by drunk driving.
What if you’re just now applying to colleges? If you have a DUI record, they might deny your application once you check on the application if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime. Yes, DUI is a crime. And it is on your record unless you get it expunged. Fortunately, Tarrant County has relatively straightforward procedures for first-time offenders.
On the other hand, colleges like UNT or UTA might choose to overlook it. This will depend on the policies of the university and the severity of the DUI. Being convicted of DUI with a 0.01 BAC may be overlooked while putting someone in the hospital when you had a 0.15 BAC probably won’t be.
Whether or not you’re in college, people arrested for DUI in Texas are sent to mandatory drug and alcohol awareness classes. You’ll also have to do community service related to drug and alcohol awareness. This means you may be forced to stand in front of K-12 students and talk about why drunk driving is so bad for 20 to 40 hours for your first offense.
A single DUI can prevent you from qualifying for a commercial driver’s license or CDL. You don’t need a CDL to make extra money driving for a ride-share service, but you do need it to be a truck driver or school bus driver in Texas. If you already have a CDL, a DUI will result in your license being suspended for at least a year.
Companies almost always do criminal background checks. A DUI isn’t going to result in a felony unless you’re guilty of your third DUI/DWI in less than ten years or caused serious injury to others in the process. However, a DUI may prevent you from getting a job as a van driver even if that particular vehicle doesn’t require a CDL to drive.
Someone between 18 and 21 convicted of DUI can be fined up to 500 dollars. The fine is the same for a second offense. For a third offense, the fine could be as high as 2000 dollars. However, that is on top of the obligation to pay for the damages you caused, whether it is repairing their car or paying their medical bills.